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She’s stuck in a rut, stuck in life and stuck in an elevator with Hollywood’s hottest actor. And of course she’s just come from the gym.
Claire Parelli just can’t seem to catch a break, well, except for heartbreak, that is. After a lifetime of following the rules, she winds up heartbroken, unfulfilled, and hiding from life. But she can’t hide for long.
After getting stuck aboard a broken elevator with Hollywood It-Boy, Daniel Chase, they begin a secret romance that pries Claire out of her element, out of her shell, and out of her sweatpants. But when their romance accidentally goes public, Claire’s life implodes, leaving her to choose to hunker down in the safety of her sweatpants, or risk her fragile heart on a chance at life, love, and the pursuit of better clothing.
He nods. “Fair enough. So . . . when might I see you again?”
See me again? With a cautiously optimistic smile, I say, “You’re the one flying across the country. You tell me.”
“Well, I leave for L.A. after some meetings tomorrow, and my schedule is insane this week, but I believe I have a couple of days off at some point coming up in the next couple of weeks. I forget the exact dates. Anyway, maybe we’ll see each other then?”
“But you’ll be in L.A.”
“It’s not that far by plane.”
I shake my head. “I can’t call out of work.” I won’t blow off work to take a trip. Not for a guy. I’m smarter than that.
He nods. “Maybe I’ll fly back, then.”
My heart launches into my throat. “You’d fly back to see me? You must have a million girls at your disposal on the West Coast.” I’m teasing—sort of.
“True . . . but I’m running out.”
I laugh, enjoying how quickly he can make me laugh. “Oh, so I guess it’s time to move on to the East Coast women?”
He peers down at me through his long lashes, his full lips tugged up on one side. “Or woman.”
My heart flips and flops in my throat, but I won’t let myself buy it. “ ‘Woman,’ huh?”
He rolls his eyes. “Claire, really, how many women’s bedrooms do you think I just hang around in?”
I raise a “do you really want an answer?” eyebrow.
He shakes his head and chuckles. “For your information, if I was merely here for one thing, I’d have had you undressed long ago.”
I raise my eyebrows, smiling. “You think so, huh?”
“Yes, I do. I’m just . . . too polite.”
“Too polite?” I nearly bust out laughing.
“Or maybe I’m just an idiot.”
We both burst into laughter, releasing the tension in the room, and that’s when our eyes lock, speaking the same language, craving the same thing. The atmosphere shifts once again, this time instantly growing tight and thick with heat.
Daydream believer and homecoming queen (Monkees anyone?), Q.T. Ruby, can now add writer to her resume, which includes thinking in song lyrics. She began her writing career as a child, channeling her ideas into songs she wrote and performed for a bedroom full of Barbies and stuffed animals. She now serenades her children with her songs, like “Just Eat What’s On Your Plate” and “You Are the Cutest, but Pick Up Your Stuff.” Q.T. Ruby loves her mom’s homemade rice pudding, pizza and movie night at home with her family, and is lucky enough to teach middle school in Connecticut where she was born and raised.
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